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Constraints and Creativity

Posted by on Nov 6, 2017

Constraints and Creativity

Finding the right balance between freedom and constraints is a challenge for all teachers. Deciding how much to model, what project elements to require, and what to leave open to student choice can be daunting for teachers. In my personal experience, some limitations really do lead to more freedom. Constraints can actually spur creativity.

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Seven Scenarios to Transform ESL teachers to ESL leaders

Posted by on Sep 5, 2017

Seven Scenarios to Transform ESL teachers to ESL leaders

In the past few years, I have had the opportunity to provide professional development for many English as a Second Language (ESL)1 teachers. These specialists are now expected to take on more and more roles and be skilled in areas well beyond the classroom. As one principal told me when he began hiring for an…

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August Syndrome

Posted by on Aug 1, 2017

August Syndrome

I woke up this morning thinking, “It’s August 1 already!?!” My husband has affectionately labeled this time of year for me as ‘August Syndrome’ to describe the conflicting emotions I inevitably experience each year.

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Finding the focal point in language and content

Posted by on Apr 12, 2017

Finding the focal point in language and content

Finding the focal point for language and content instruction requires teachers to conduct ongoing experiments and closely observe how students are using language. When students struggle to explain a concept, teachers have to discern if they actually understand the concept but need language support, or if they still need support with the concept itself.

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That’s exemplary!

Posted by on Dec 27, 2016

That’s exemplary!

“For all the correcting we do, directions we give, and rubrics we create about what good work looks like, students are often unclear about what they are aiming for until they actually see and analyze strong models.” Ron Berger, Leaders of their own Learning

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Learning the Language of Music

Posted by on Jun 30, 2016

Learning the Language of Music

Last week I participated in a marimba camp with David Alderdice and Arlyn Deva of Embodying Rhythm. What I learned during the week of afternoon marimba lessons was much broader than the melody and chord lines to each of the three songs we worked on; I learned the importance of listening, following the pulse, and playing within the musical framework or grid,

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